State use tax collections set a record in January

  • January's total monthly tax receipt collections

OKLAHOMA CITY – Collections of the use tax on out-of-state sales, including online purchases, set a record high in January, while total revenue remained relatively flat, State Treasurer Randy McDaniel announced Friday.

January's total monthly collections were $1.26 billion, up by $17.4 million, or 1.4%, from January 2019. Use tax receipts generated $83 million, up by almost 19% from the prior year. However, collections from four of the six major revenue streams were less than the same month of the prior year. Only use tax and corporate income tax receipts rose above prior year levels during the month. Individual income, sales, gross production, and motor vehicle taxes saw decreases ranging from 11.8% to 0.1%. January sales and use tax collections reflect purchases made during most of December, a majority of the holiday shopping season. When combined, they are up by 1.7% from January 2019, McDaniel said. “As Oklahoma weathers an ongoing slowdown in oilfield drilling activity, it is encouraging to see total consumption taxes remain positive,” the State Treasurer said. “Retail sales, both at brick-and-mortar stores and online, reflect healthy consumer confidence.” Sales tax collections for the month were down from the prior year – as has been the case in seven of the past eight months – but analysis shows most of the slowdown is spillover from reduced spending in the oil and gas industry. Gross production taxes on oil and gas production, at $88.3 million in January, were down by $11.8 million, or nearly 12%. January marked the fifth consecutive month of contraction in those revenues. Total receipts from the past 12 months were reported as $13.73 billion, an increase of $660.2 million over the trailing 12 months. 


The Oklahoma Business Conditions Index for January rose above growth neutral for the first time since October of last year. January’s rate of 52.2 is up from 48.4 in December. Numbers above 50 indicate economic growth is anticipated during the following three to six months. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate for Oklahoma in December was unchanged from the prior month at 3.4%. The U.S. unemployment rate in December also held steady from the prior month at 3.5%, according to figures released by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.


January's gross collections totaled $1.26 billion, up by 1.4% from January 2019. Gross income tax collections, a combination of individual and corporate income taxes, generated $470.3 million, an increase of $10.9 million from January 2019. Combined sales and use tax collections, including remittances on behalf of cities and counties, totaled $498.3 million in January. That was $8.5 million more than January 2019 receipts. Gross production taxes on oil and natural gas generated $88.3 million in January, a decrease of $11.8 million from January 2019. Compared to December 2019 reports, gross production collections are up by $14.1 million, or 18.9%. Motor vehicle taxes produced $66 million, down 3.1% from January 2019. Other collections composed of some 60 different sources, including taxes on fuel, tobacco, medical marijuana, and alcoholic beverages, produced $136.1 million during the month. That was $11.8 million more than in January 2019. The General Revenue Fund, the state’s main operating account, receives less than half of the state’s gross receipts; the remainder is paid in rebates and refunds, remitted to cities and counties, and apportioned to other state funds.